In 1986, Renee Lertzman, an idealistic teenager starting college, signed up for a class in environmental science. One day, her environmental science professor started lecturing on something she had never heard of before.
All that oil and gas and coal that had been trapped below ground for millennia, and that now was being dug up and burned for processes both awesome and non-awesome, was gradually returning the planet’s climate to a hot, soupy, pre-historic mess. Actually, not so gradually. She would notice the changes in her lifetime. There would be famines, flooding, mass extinctions. Shit was going to get crazy.
This information was presented impassively. No biggie! Just the largest environmental threat that humans (and a whole lot of other species) have ever faced. Yes, the professor said, your species caused it, which means you caused it. We all caused it. We’re causing it right now. Don’t forget there’s a test on Friday.